Foul Play Doesn’t Get Any Funnier

The Scotsman
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It took 40 seconds for a collective smile to spread across the audience. Which was about the time when the first 6 ft 12 stone male ballet dancer in full tutu and pointe shoes flashed a cheesy smile our way. It’s no wonder the “Trocks” are a hit the world over ­ humour of this kind is universal. Whether you are a dance aficionado or a complete novice, the sight of eight strong men teetering on their toes as they floast through Act Two of “Swan Lake” can’t fail to amuse. But it’s not just comic timing which these New Yorkers have in spades. Hard-won classical technique forms the basis of everything they do, and while much of it is punctuated with humour, these guys are deadly serious aboutDying Swan scattered feathrs in her wake, they then roared with approval at an entirely straight, but beautifully performed pas de deux. Parody at its finest.

Tuesday, Eden Court, Inverness
Thursday to Saturday. Theater Royal Glasgow
Monday to Tuesday, Festival Theater, Edinburgh.
Thursday Friday, Saturday, His Majesty’s Theater, Aberdeen.

November 20, 2003
Theater Royal, Glasgow, Scotland, UK


News must have got around that the TROCKS are tutu funny forwards as well as being a seriously class act. Their Glasgow debut brought eager throngs to the Theatre Royal, many of whom weren’t there just because of the Glasgay connections.

Some of us are regular camp followers: we’ve frequently seen Ida Nevasayneva moulting feathers as the Dying Swan and still reckon that fowl play doesn’t get any funnier. Likewise, the TROCKS’s calling card, Swan Lake, ACT 2, which cocks a snook at the creaky nineteenth-century conventions that bemuse modern audiences,. Any thoroughly drilled ensemble could not doubt do yo ua decent spoof of the histrionic mannerisms, the over-sized egos, the ludicrous wigs and make-up, and the barely-concealed rivalries. What gives the TROCKs the edge is that their parodies are rooted in brilliant, superbly-sustained travesty. From the moment a hairy chest peeps, unfazed, above a bodice, the audience have full permission to laugh at ballet’s icons: the ballerinas and their noble princes, or legendary choreographers whose stylistic signatures are mimicked, yet celebrated in Go for Barocco. A serenely assured Nutcracker pas de deux and a positively sizzling take on Bournonville are further reminders that the TROCKs are possessed of outstanding technique as well as acting ability.